Living with an impossible loss

Louise & I were recently interviewed for the One of Nine YouTube channel I blogged about here . The motivation is threefold: Encourage priests and bishops by sharing that living a Catholic life is beautiful and totally possible. You don’t have to compromise and lots of us are just getting on with it even though many of us feel undermined and abandoned by the hierarchy. Build community and reach out in solidarity to other Catholic families, share our joys and our struggles to encourage and help each other when things are challenging. Share our story of love and hope in order that it might encourage others who are going through dark times in their lives, help them to realise that Jesus fills our lives with His goodness and presence even when life seems impossibly hard.

Tolkien's Cosmology: Understanding our World

Father Michael Halsall’s recent homily featured in my last post . His doctoral research was on Tolkein’s net-Platonic thought and he has published an excellent book. He recently gave a talk at the Christian Heritage Centre in Stoneyhurst which you can watch in the video below. Please do consider donating to the work of the centre. JRR Tolkien’s mythical world captured the hearts and minds of millions. His world is one that speaks to us because it is anchored in a profound truth: that of a cosmos brought into being and continually guided, whilst simultaneously respecting the free choices of its creatures. Rev. Dr Halsall will explore the beauty of Tolkien’s vision as a reflection of the Catholic understanding of the cosmos, as defined in its relationship to the Creator.

I am the Door of the Sheepfold : I am the Good Shepherd

The Rev. Dr. Michael Halsall is the Director of Curriculum Development at Allen Hall Seminary, Westminster and a Priest in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This means he knows a bit about what it means to be a priest and what it takes to form young men for the priesthood. It also means he knows the ground: he knows what is going on currently in the Church with regard to vocations and priestly formation. He gave a most excellent homily for Good Shepherd Sunday (last Sunday) which I thought I would share with you here: The earliest known image that we have of Jesus, is of a man carrying a sheep over his shoulders, with another sheep standing/following close by. He is dressed very roughly, with a leather jerkin and sandals; no robe, no hat or ring of office. The image was found in the Catacombs which lie just outside the city of Rome, where Christians chose to be buried when it was unsafe to bury bodies in the city during the plague seasons. In our technical, digitally mesmerisi

Brian Holdsworth: How Not to Renew the Church

Another excellent video presentation from Brian. Here he addresses the most frustrating and universal issue in the Catholic Church - and probably Christianity today. Everywhere I look, I see a truth reflected in existential reality: the progressive agenda has failed. Despite this undeniable truth, it seems the purveyors of progressive ideology see only one reason for this: we are not progressive enough! They reach this conclusion despite the clear evidence that the only growth is in places where we hold fast to the truth and the Traditions of our faith. Brian starts this video by stating a self-evident truth: one thing we should be able to easily recognize is that something needs to change in the Church – and fast. Every survey out there reminds us that there is a crisis of faith as numbers are dramatically declining, successive generations are walking away, vocations are plummeting, and scandals seem to preoccupy all our attention. He goes on to give evidence that the only except

One of Nine - Catholic Family Life

Today I want to introduce you to the Youtube project One of Nine and encourage you to watch the videos and support the channel  because both Maria & Peter are extremely talented, faithful and excellent advocates for Catholic family life. It is a positive project and it fosters a feeling that faithful Catholic families are not alone. I think this is especially important if you are a priest or religious . Why? Well, because it is frankly, heroic. As well as providing a valuable insight into the reality of Catholic family life, it provides an honest portrayal of just how challenging it is to live the Church's vision for family. Yes there is tremendous joy: I would not advocate an alternative or criticise the vision. It is the one I have chosen with all my heart. But it always comes with challenges, worries and is so often accompanied by the bitter sweetness of loss and longing.  The Catholic community here in the UK is incredibly small. Shockingly small really. I'm not talkin

The Pope is Right not to Arbitrate

I watched this video on Youtube a couple of days ago. It presents an intelligent and well constructed argument which starts out purporting to explain what a bishop is in the Catholic Church, but quickly turns into a rather convoluted apologia for Pope Francis confusing style of governance. I can't escape the impression that ultimately the whole video is a bit of a sales pitch to explain why Pope Francis is doing such a bad job as Pope. Given the way it ends, it presents an extremely circuitous narrative which takes as its starting point, the proper function of bishops but ultimately aims to explain and even justify/ edify why Pope Francis is failing to be clear and correct error. Its final assertion is that his lack of clear teaching is because he is leaving it to bishops to discern the way forward on any number of issues and, moreover, this is the proper method of governance for the Roman Pontiff. Despite the problems evident from any initial viewing, it is well put together and t

US Catholic Bishops Give $50k to Abortion Advocates

  It is a sign of the times that we simply can no longer trust Catholic bishops to be Catholic any more. This is obviously a problem when we, collectively, give them literally millions of pounds/dollars/euros every year and we trust them to spend it on corporal works of mercy. We should be able to trust them but we can't, as has been demonstrated time and time again. Thank God for intelligent, diligent and committed Catholics like Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute . They do the work so we don't have to and that is work that really needs to be done judging by the content of his latest expose on how the US bishops spend the money US Catholics provide them with.  Every time Michael exposes something like this, the US Bishops go into damage limitation mode, assuring us that they can be trusted, but they appear to be like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke: every time they plug one hole, a couple more spring open. For any of us following the state of the Church